The first thing that comes up when I type the question ‘What is Feminism’ into google is:
the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
A more developed definition shows up on Wikipedia stating that:
Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes.
For once I agree with Wikipedia on this one. While feminism does include the advocacy of women’s rights including that at the beginning of the definition usually has someone saying ‘What about men?’ before you can finish your definition with equality of the sexes. If you take nothing else from this post or even this whole blog, take away the fact that feminism is not man hating. I don’t want to live in a world without men. I do want to live in a world where as a woman I am equal to a man and a man is equal to me.
However, when we look at gender inequalities, most instances of these inequalities benefit men and disadvantage women. Go to @countingdeadwomen on Twitter to see how many women are killed by men just in the UK, for example. This does not take away from the fact that in some situations men are at a disadvantage. For example, 75% of suicides are male and this is a huge issue being dealt with by the charity CALM. Feminism is campaigning for neither disadvantages – no disadvantages – to be the case. We should not live in a society where gender holds us back in any sense.
What feminism has come to embody more than what could have been imagined when the phrase was first coined as far back as 1837. It is for all genders, all races and all sexualities.